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Best-Ever Vanilla Cheesecake

Kraft Memeber Recipe
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Makes: 16 servings Total Time: 1 hr 40 min
Category: Desserts Sub Category: Cheesecakes

what you need
  • 2 1/2 cups vanilla wafers (about 45)
  • 2 Tbsp. + 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 4 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
make it
Position racks in center and lower third of oven. Place roasting pan on lower rack: fill halfway with water. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease 9"x3" springform pan. In food processor, pulse cookies and 2 Tbsp. sugar until ground. Stir in butter. Press into pan.

On medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then cream, flour and vanilla. Pour into pan.

Bake on center rack 1 hour 15 minutes, or until center jiggles slightly. Turn off oven. Let stand in oven with door closed 1 hour. Run knife around edge of pan. Cool on rack. Chill overnight. Remove side of pan.
Cheesecakes don't like drafts, but if it cracks you can always cover the top with a can of cherry pie filling and remember, Mom won a blue ribbon at the fair with a cracked cheesecake!

To make a chocolate-covered cherry version: Substitute 24 chocolate wafer cookies for vanilla wafers. Toss 1 cup maraschino cherries (chopped and patted dry) with additional 1 Tbsp. flour. Reduce cream to 1/2 cup: Substitute 1 tsp. almond extract for vanilla. Stir 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice and 10 drops red liquid food coloring into batter, then stir in cherry mixture. Bake and cool as directed. Drizzle with 3 Tbsp. hot fudge sundae topping. If desired, garnish with whipped cream and chocolate dipped maraschino cherries.
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